Joplin Memorial Run registration is open

JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s officially time to register for the 12th Annual Freeman Joplin Memorial Run 2023. Registration kicked off Friday for Joplin’s biggest running event.

The May 20th race at Cunningham Park includes the Freeman Half-Marathon, the Sparklight 10K, the Liberty 5k, and the Sign Designs Kids’ Half-Mile Run.

You have until December 1st to take advantage of the lowest registration prices. The very last day to sign-up is May 17th.

Every year, the Joplin Memorial Run honors the 161 victims of the 2011 Joplin tornado. It’s also a way to celebrate the community’s strength in overcoming the destruction and loss.

Next year’s theme celebrates Joplin’s 150th anniversary. If you’re interested in registering for the race, you can follow this link here.


KC Holiday Express train to visit the Four State area

PITTSBURG, Kans. — The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express is back for the first time since 2020. The 6-car holiday train is already making stops as it travels through 20 communities in 8 different states this year.

The train is packed with several Christmas displays both inside and out — and of course, Santa and his elves are along for the ride.

Locally — the train will make a stop in Pittsburg on Saturday, December 10th at 4 p.m. stopping at the intersection of Elm and Monroe Streets. And like every year, proceeds from the Holiday Express will benefit the Salvation Army.

“We are very appreciative of the partnership we have with Kansas City Southern in supporting us in our efforts to meet the needs of children during the holiday season. We especially, uh, in years past we’ve received gift cards and we’ve received monetary donations and we use all of that to provide a nice Christmas for each child that comes through,” said Major Patricia Johnson, Salvation Army in Pittsburg.

Pittsburg stop is the only stop in the Four State area.

For more information or to check out this year’s train schedule follow this link here.


10 Amazon gifts for the person who has everything

KSNF— We all know them—the person who has everything they need, and usually buys what they want. These folks are usually your parents, retired, or of the “in-law” sort. Regardless, KSNF has compromised a list of things they probably don’t have, but could totally use.

1. Cherry Shaped Toilet Brush sold by EpicGifts

The Cherry-Shaped Toilet Brush is tasteful, concealed, and artistic. It gives sophisticated “Spoonbridge and Cherry” vibes. This nifty potty brush could also double as functional decor and guests wouldn’t even know what it really was. Who wants their porcelain-throne-hole scrubber out in the open anyway? Check out the brush here.

2. Car Backseat Headrest Hanger sold by AMVOYOA

This headrest hanger is a game-changer. Long past are the days of slamming on the breaks in the car and launching your purse or grocery sack into the floorboard. This little doo-dad slides onto the headrest for a convenient hook to put those bags on. It also comes in a variety of colors to match your interior. Find the iconic hanger hook here.

3. 16-Color Toilet Night Light sold by Chunace

Alright, nobody needs this, and most likely no one has this, but it’s pretty cool. Motion activated, this night light has 16 different colors that will light up your toilet bowl like it’s an NPC ready to give you a side quest in a video game. This glow-bowl device is perfect for those learning to potty-train, have poor eyesight, or like to party during private time. It would also make a great gift that’ll get a couple laughs at your work’s gift exchange.

4. Kitchen Appliance Cord Winder 6 pack sold by Raitver

This is the one thing you never knew you needed, which makes it perfect for that person who is so hard to shop for. This heat-resistant rubber cord organizer sticks to kitchen appliances easily so you can effortlessly wrap and store the power cable around it. No more dangling bits laying around! Find this nifty organizer here.

5. Portable Hair Tie Holder sold by Hair Tie Hub

This thing keeps hair ties handy and can easily attach anywhere. It’s small, sleek, and convenient. This is the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the ones that are always unprepared and asking everyone else if they have a hair tie. Bonus points to you if you also buy them a pack of hair ties to get them started. Find the Hair Tie Hub here.

6. Bamboo Kraft Bamboo Cutting Board with Containers sold by BAMBOO KRAFT

Subway station at home anyone? This cutting board with drawers is perfect for anyone— literally, anyone who cooks, likes fruits and veggies, or meal preps. Who has time for finding different bowls, cutting one vegetable at a time, and scooping into said bowl when you can just chop and scrape those bad boys into the drawer? The possibilities are endless with this one and the meal-prepper in your life will thank you for it. Find it here.

7. Mini Video Projector sold by Sriaxnol

Why does someone need a mini-projector? Chances are they don’t, BUT it is a pretty neat tool for different experiences. It’s a good idea for those who like entertainment on the go. It doesn’t take up much space. It can be hooked to your phone for an outside Netflix screening with friends, an indoor cinema experience, or even used to project a romantic crackling fireplace on the wall during date night. Whatever the use, it’s sure to be fun. Check out this projector, and others like it, here.

8. Portable Monitor for Laptops sold by Mobile Pixels

Laptops are perfect for nearly every situation when it comes to staying busy on the go— except for the limited screen. Expand your screen’s real estate for better workflow! This laptop screen extender can be used in four different modes attached to your laptop or independently next to your laptop screen. It’s slim and works with Macs and Windows for a universal experience. Whether you need a million tabs open to bounce between one site and another, or more screens for gaming or presentations, this is the one you want. However, if you’re gifting this to someone else, you’ll want to make sure the screen dimensions are a good fit for their type of laptop. Check out what’s available here.

9. Flame Diffuser Humidifier sold by Romanplux

Whether it’s for the benefits of essential oils or because humidifiers can help ease the dryness of the air and keep you from getting sandpaper tongue when you turn into a snot-monster mouth-breather during allergy season, everyone needs one. This humidifier is aesthetic and gives the illusion of a flame, with a variety of colors. Chances are, that person in your life that seems like they already have everything they need, doesn’t have this. You can read more about the diffuser humidifier and purchase it here.

10. Fruit Sorbet Machine sold by NutriChef

Turn frozen fruit into a tasty dessert with this device. It comes with a small recipe booklet and is easy to clean. Sorbet, frozen coffee, ice cream, frozen yogurt— the creativity and possibilities for this little machine are endless and that’s why it’s an ideal gift for anyone when you don’t know what to buy them. Find it here.

There has got to be something useful out there you can buy for the person that has you stumped this holiday season. Do your best not to stress and remember, the holiday season is not about who gives the best gifts. When all else fails, a thoughtful holiday card with a restaurant gift card inside is always a safe option. I’ve never met someone who turned down free food.


Ridgerunners take on the Titans tonight in the semifinal rounds of Class 5A playoffs

OWASSO, Okla. – Tonight the top-ranked Grove Ridgerunners will put their undefeated season to the test when they take on second-ranked Midwest City Carl Albert Titans in the Class 5A semifinals.  

This is the first meeting between the two schools.  The winner advances to the finals next Saturday against the winner between No. 3 OKC McGuinness and No. 5 McAlester.

The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Owasso Stadium and can be heard on KGVE 99.3 or live-streamed here.

Carl Albert brings to the gridiron a rich football history. The 14-time state champions have won five straight titles between 2016 and 2020.

This is the Ridgerunners’ fourth time to advance this far in the playoffs dating back to 1958.

Grove’s juggernaut three-head beast of an offense is averaging 48 points a game and is anchored by senior quarterback Carson Trimble.

Trimble has passed for 2,329 yards and scored 33 touchdowns and rushed 447 yards and scored six touchdowns on the season.

His go-to receiver, Hagen Hacker has caught 44 passes for 805 yards scoring 15 touchdowns.

The third foundation in the high-octane offense is senior running back Emmanuel Crawford.

Crawford has lit up the scoreboard rushing for 2,081 yards and scoring 41 touchdowns (33 rushing, 7 passing, and one punt return) this season.

The senior holds the record for career rushing in Class 5A with 6,555 yards.

On the other side of the field Grove’s defense hasn’t shirked away from its responsibilities holding opponents to 16 points a game.

Grove’s swarming defense has contained their opponents all year and scored twice during regular season games.

Carl Albert’s backfield is comprised of junior tailback Xavier Robinson and senior quarterback Reed DeQuasie.

The 6-foot-2, 225 pounds junior tailback is averaging over nine yards per carry.

Carl Albert brings a strong defense with senior Tashawn James at defensive back, defensive end Brock Johnson, linebacker Easton Harless, defensive lineman Tanner Norman and safety Chancy Lester.


Christmas shopping event kicks off in Miami

MIAMI, Okla. – The 2 Hip Chicks Roadshow is hosting a Christmas shopping event with multiple local vendors today.

Officials say the first 25 shoppers through the door will receive a bag of various goodies.

Vendors have the following items for sale:

  • Handmade wooden crafts
  • Health & Beauty items
  • Sewn crafts
  • Kid toys & clothes
  • Jewelry
  • Food preserves
  • & more!

The event is hosted at the Miami Civic Center and the event lasts until 4:00 P.M.

Admission to enter costs $5 and kids under 13 are free to attend.

Watch KOAM & Fox 14 this evening to see the whole story or check back later for additional content.


Joplin Police set perimeter to locate man who fled car stop

JOPLIN, Mo. — Late Friday evening, November 25, 2022 reports of numerous Joplin Police officers setting a perimeter near 20th and S. Connecticut Ave.

KOAM’s Shannon Becker learned on scene it was a car stop where a male fled vehicle.

Sgt Thomas Bowin of the Joplin Police Dept says they set a perimeter, the male who fled was not located. Then just as they were released from the area he was spotted near Parr Hill Park.

They set a second perimeter and located the male, taking him into custody without incident near the 1700 block of S. St. Louis about 11:30 p.m.

No names are released at this time. No one was injured.

This is a developing story we will continue to follow as more information is released. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.


Man convicted of Joplin murder feat in upcoming Netflix Crime Documentary

JOPLIN, Mo. (KOAM-TV 7) — Netflix is poised to release I Am a Killer Season 4 on December 21. The trailer is out and features Joplin, Missouri, convicted killer Gary Black.

This season features interviews with current inmates, some on Death Row, and their current situations according to a media release on the British Crime Documentary.

Gary W. Black was convicted twice in Jasper County Jury Trials of First Degree Murder and sentenced to Death for the 1998 stabbing of Jason Johnson at the intersection of 5th and S. Joplin Ave in Joplin.

Black’s girlfriend, Tammy Lawson, was upset because she believed Johnson had tried to make a pass at her while they were in line at Snak Attack, E. 4th and S. St. Louis. Johnson was black, Gary Black and his girlfriend, white.

Black followed the vehicle Johnson was riding in a short distance to Joplin’s Downtown Bar District. During an exchange of words Black exited his vehicle and reached inside fatally stabbing Johnson in the neck.

While during a third trial in 2010 just as a Cass County jury was being selected for a new trial, Black took a plea bargain, avoiding the death penalty by filing an Alford Plea (guilty plea in which a defendant maintains their innocence but admits that the prosecution’s evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict if brought to trial).

Black, now 72, is currently serving a life sentence at Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point, Mo.

The Netflix trailer shows Gary Black being wheeled out towards cameras in a wheelchair with chains and shackles in slow motion. Black’s voice is heard above the video.

“These guards will tell you, I live in an administrative segregation unit. Until just six months ago I was in isolation in a one man cell for almost two years. They don’t know what to do with me here, that’s right they don’t know what to do with me here. And I don’t care.”

Then images of other inmates interviewed for the series flash on the screen with ominous music.

State of Missouri vs. Gary W. Black

Missouri Supreme Court Case Number: SC82279

Case Facts: 

On the evening of October 2, 1998, Andrew Martin, Mark Wolfe and victim Jason O. Johnson met at a Joplin restaurant.

After eating dinner and drinking beer, they decided to go to a downtown nightclub. Martin and the victim got into Martin’s 1996 Ford F-150 pickup, while Wolfe followed in his Camaro.

En route, they stopped at a convenience store. Martin and Wolfe remained in their vehicles while the victim entered the store and purchased a 40-ounce bottle of beer and a can of chewing tobacco. While in line, the victim stood behind Tammy S. Lawson. The jury viewed a tape of the victim and Lawson together in line.

Lawson was the girlfriend of defendant Gary W. Black, who was also parked outside the store. When the victim exited the store, Lawson pointed him out to the defendant. (During the penalty phase, Lawson testified that she was upset and told defendant that the victim made “a pass” at her.)

The victim and Martin then left the store in the pickup, with Wolfe following in his Camaro. Defendant and Lawson were in defendant’s car, close behind the Camaro.

When Martin stopped at the stoplight at 5th and Joplin, defendant pulled alongside in the right lane. Defendant began to “exchange words” with the victim. Defendant got out of his car, reached through the passenger window of the pickup, and stabbed the victim in the neck, nearly severing his carotid artery and completely severing his jugular vein.

Defendant immediately returned to his car. Victim left the pickup, staggered over to defendant’s car, and threw the bottle of beer at him. It is unclear whether the bottle struck defendant. (It did become clear during penalty phase that leaving the scene, defendant commented, “One nigger down,” and threw the knife out the car window.) Defendant then fled to Oklahoma.

The stab wound — 4.5 to 6 inches deep — bled profusely. Bystanders attempted to slow the bleeding with clothing and towels. Paramedics arrived to find the victim unresponsive, from massive blood loss. Blood drained into the victim’s airway, depriving him of oxygen. The victim died three days later.

Defendant was arrested in Oklahoma on a Missouri warrant. During inventory, police found an empty knife sheath in his car. Based on a statement by Tammy Lawson, an officer found the knife in a grassy area near a cemetery, about 20 blocks from the crime scene.

After deliberating less then two hours, the jury found defendant guilty of first degree murder. The jury later recommended the death penalty, finding two statutory aggravators — prior serious assaultive convictions and depravity of mind. The trial court sentenced the defendant to death

I Am A Killer season 4 is set to release on December 21, 2022, and will be available for streaming on Netflix.

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to cover news and stories where you live. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.


Local Train Show and Swap Meet leaves the station

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin History & Mineral Museum is hosting its annual Train Show and Swap Meet today.

The event brings together model train enthusiasts from across the 4-States and all proceeds at the door benefit the local museum.

Admission is $5 a person and children under 12 years of age are free to attend the event.

Officials with the museum say there are over 55 tables featuring model train items and accessories for sale including multiple model train displays set up for your entertainment.

The event runs from 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Food truck services are available in the designated parking areas.

Click here to learn more.



Shoppers out ahead of Small Business Saturday

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The sales don’t end on Black Friday.

Area chambers of commerce promote the day after Black Friday as “Small Business Saturday”.

Plenty of local stores plan sales through the weekend and beyond.

We found some shoppers in Pittsburg who aren’t waiting to support their local retailers, you can hear from them in the video above.

You can find a list of deals here.